qldwater Blog

eFlash #563

eFlash #563
Date: 23-Feb-2023

In this edition: Message from Interim CEO Linda Roberts | Release of the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) Annual Report 2021-2022 | NPR Review: Indicators and Timing | Resource Library Update | Zoho Connect App | Date Claimer Annual Forum 2023 | WSAA Project – Water Utilities Asset Model Builds/Modala EOI Project | Update on the Risk Management Program Rules | Disaster Assistance extended for more Northern and Central Queensland Communities | WIOA Operator Exchange Program | Trade Waste Interest Group 2023 Forum

Information for Water Industry Managers and Practitioners in the Queensland Water Industry

(Issue #563 - 23 February 2023)


1. Message from Interim CEO – Linda Roberts

For those who are not aware, the recruitment for the qldwater CEO role has commenced with Leading Roles managing the process. Applications close on Monday 13th March - find the details here.

After 6 months as interim CEO, I look forward to welcoming a new CEO who will quickly realize the achievements of the small, dedicated team at qldwater, the committed supportive membership base and strengths of our partnerships. All elements have enabled qldwater to navigate the change and uncertainty over the last few months.

2. Release of the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) Annual Report 2021-2022

QWRAP works to drive regional partnerships and initiatives to enhance service providers’ ability to deliver sustainable services. The QWRAP 2021-2022 Annual Report highlights the collaborative water and sewerage projects within Queensland and celebrates the 56 participating Councils across the nine QWRAP regions.

QWRAP is a collaboration between the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), qldwater and the Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW). Funding for QWRAP is supported by RDMW including significant leverage of cash and in-kind contributions from other partners. A huge effort from everyone involved!

Download the 2022 Annual Report here.

3. NPR Review: Indicators and Timing

BoM released a report containing the National Performance Reporting (NPR) Framework indicator review findings and recommendations just before Christmas and qldwater have been having discussions with DRDMW to try and finalise some information. The report is available from the qldwater website.

qldwater have been advised by DRDMW that endorsement and adoption of the Indicator Review’s Recommendations in its entirety by all States is still in progress at a national level.

However, in general and to keep you as informed as we can, for Service Providers with <10,000 connections, qldwater is collaborating with DRDMW and the BOM for you to have only minimal and appropriate changes to your Annual SWIM reporting. As NPR, BoM and ABS are aligning their indicators as part of this process, and you have already been reporting to ABS for several years now, there should be only minimal change.

At this stage, it is proposed that service providers with <10,000 connections will commence reporting against NPR Indicators in 2024-2025. This is a little over a year away, however, qldwater and DRDMW will keep you informed on the details of this matter as it progresses.

For service providers with >10,0000 connections, the following is planned:

  • 2022-2023: A new NPR handbook (to be released in February 2023) is to be applied to the reporting 2022-2023 period (i.e., current reporting period). This Handbook will contain the existing NPR indicators minus the indicators that have been retired as agreed during the Indicator Review. Consequently, there will be fewer indicators to report against in 2022-23.
  • 2023-2024: A second handbook will be released in March 2023 which will contain the revised NPR indicators (some will be new). This second handbook applies to the 2023-2024 reporting period and is being released in March 2023 to allow service providers time to prepare themselves to collect new data during 2023-24 and report by October 2024.

Over the coming year, particularly with service providers with less than 10,000 connections, DRDMW will be engaging with you on your reporting requirements.

Should any of the information provided change, we will inform you as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, concerns or issues with the information provided please contact David Scheltinga (qldwater) to discuss.

4. Resource Library Update

qldwater members can now access the Procedure for Condition Assessment of Asbestos Cement (AC) Pipes from the Water Network section on our Resource Library. We would like to acknowledge Aneurin Hughes, Senior Principal Engineer - Asset Management at Stantec for his work on this document which has been adapted and expanded from the Procedures for Inspection of Asbestos Cement Pipes prepared by Logan City Council through the Logan Water Partnership (Logan City Council, Downer, WSP and Cardno, now Stantec).

5. Zoho Connect - there's an app for that!

For those who enjoy networking via Zoho, you can download the Zoho Connect app for free from your favourite app store. That means you’ll see any posts on your phone, making it easier to stay up to date with everything that’s happening in our networking groups.

6. Date Claimer Annual Forum 2023

Planning is underway for the qldwater Annual Forum to be held in Toowoomba from 5–7 September. Please note these dates in your diaries and start looking at accommodation options as it coincides with the Festival of Flowers, which is generally a busy time of the year.


7. WSAA Project – Water Utilities Asset Model Builds/Modala EOI Project

The objective of the project is to foster collaboration, data sharing and knowledge capture within the water industry. Dane Boers (Modla), in collaboration with the Intelligent Water Network and WSAA, propose to develop a suite of water asset models, containing the latest data, causal relationships, and understanding from water asset SME’s. The models proposed are:

  • Sewer pump stations 
  • Water pump stations 
  • Sewer distribution pipes 
  • Switch boards 
  • Communication and control equipment 
  • Water distribution pipes 
  • Cathodic Protection 

The total project cost is $49,000 ex GST.  

To date there has been enough interest that the project is going ahead, and it would be great to see some more QLD based members participating.

If you are interested in contributing funding and being part of the project, please make contact with  james.goode@wsaa.asn.au by Monday 13th March 2023.  

8. Update on the Risk Management Program Rules Critical Infrastructure Assets  

The Australian Department of Home Affairs Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre have advised that the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 Risk Management Program Rules have commenced as of 17 February 2023. The Rules are available at this link: Security of Critical Infrastructure (Critical infrastructure risk management program) Rules (LIN 23/006) 2023(legislation.gov.au) . NOTE that water and sewerage infrastructure are included when the entity supplies more than 100,000 customers/ connections.

The Risk Management Program is the third of three preventative elements of the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 as amended in 2021 and 2022. The most recent consultation process saw some thoughtful submissions about how to make the rule simpler for implementation and raising improvement issues. The Minister has made changes to the rules to reflect this feedback. Many of the submissions highlighted the need for continued co-design and development of guidance, and the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre remains committed to this task and will continue to work with interested parties as an enduring function. If you are unsure whether your asset may be subject to this obligation, please visit Regulatory obligations (cisc.gov.au)which includes updated guidance material to assist.  

For some critical infrastructure entities, the department recognise that implementation of a Risk Management Program will be an extensive task. Others have reported that they are already complying or exceeding the requirements. Education, awareness raising and collaboration will be the first port of call given this is a new regulatory regime designed with security outcomes in mind.  This is why the obligations will not commence immediately. There is an initial 6 month period for transition beginning on the date of commencement (17 February 2023) to allow entities to begin implementing their risk management program. 

The Risk Management Program also has an annual reporting obligation to be approved by the board, council or governing body. This report is to be provided 90 days after the end of the Australian financial year. The first reports will be required within 90 days following 30 June 2024. However, while not required, the Department encourage a trial run of this reporting and board engagement in the 90 day period following 30 June 2023.  

Hamish Hansford, Head of the Australian Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre, will be at the Cyber & Infrastructure Security Conference in Sydney on 24 March to discuss ways to continue to secure Australian critical infrastructure.

9. Disaster Assistance extended for more Northern and Central Queensland Communities  

Disaster assistance has been extended to seven more flooded local councils following extreme monsoonal rainfall and flooding across Northern and Central Queensland. 

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, said this assistance will provide financial support for counter disaster operations aimed at public safety and the restoration of essential public assets. 

Following this extension, jointly-funded assistance under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). is now available in 33 local government areas in Queensland: Aurukun, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Cloncurry, Cook, Croydon, Diamantina, Doomadgee, Douglas, Etheridge, Flinders, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Longreach, Mackay, Mapoon, Mareeba, Mornington, Mount Isa, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw, Tablelands, Townsville, Whitsunday, and Winton. 

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au 

 10. WIOA Operator Exchange Program 

WIOA in partnership with WSAA, are collaborating on an Australian Water Industry Operator Exchange Program. The aim of the Operator Exchange Program is to provide water treatment, wastewater treatment and network operators with the opportunity to spend time at another organisation, to share ideas, processes and view their tools and equipment.  

The participating operator can share experiences with processes, monitoring, technologies, equipment used and then take those learnings back to their organization for consideration and discussion. The exchange does not have to be reciprocal and can be an operator from one organisation visiting another organisation’s facility for one week. Participating organisations will need to support the program and their employee’s expenses i.e. accommodation, travel and any out of pocket expenses. 

WIOA will provide a co-ordination role, and the opportunity to share employee learnings and development with the broader water industry and other participating organisations. WIOA will arrange an introductory meeting between the participant and the participating organisation prior to the exchange taking place. WSAA will promote the Program and assist with facilitating collaboration and identification of leading practice. 

WIOA has now opened Expressions of Interest for interested members and host organisations. To find out more or to nominate please email info@wioa.org.au with the subject of Australian Operator Exchange Program. Expressions of Interest close 31 March 2023. 

11. Trade Waste Interest Group 2023 Forum 

Bundaberg Regional Council is excited to announce registrations are now open for the next Trade Waste Interest Group 2023 Forum. The event will be held on Friday 10 March from 8.30 am to 4 pm at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct, Main Pavilion conference room, University Drive, Braynan with access via Kendalls Road. This forum event is free of charge. 

A networking dinner will be held at the Brothers Sports Club on the Thursday 9 March at 6 pm, payable at your own expense or claimable through your own organisation.  

The Trade Waste Interest Group is made up of likeminded service providers that deal in the Trade Waste Industry. These events are a chance for attendees to share experiences and ideas to help further their roles. The upcoming forum provides an informal opportunity for networking, technical presentations, topics, projects of interest and questions answered. 

Please send RVSPs for attendance to the forum and dinner (optional) with any dietary requirements to laura.purcell@bundaberg.qld.gov.au. Any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Laura Purcell or Victoria Watson on 1300 883 699.  


10 March - Trade Waste Interest Group Forum 2023, Bundaberg 

13-14 March - Queensland Health Indigenous Local Government Workshop, Cairns 

15 March - RDMW Water Supply Regional Workshop, Cairns 

16 March - Queensland Indigenous Council’s Operators Network Workshop, Cairns 

10-12 May - Ozwater ’23, International Convention Centre, Sydney 

15–19 May - Water Connections Tour, CQ Region 

8 June - Water Skills Forum, Eagle Farm, Brisbane 

19-20 July - WIOA Queensland Conference, University of Sunshine Coast  

15 August  - AWA North Queensland Conference, Townsville 

5-7 Sept - Annual Forum, Toowoomba 

9-10 Nov - AWA QWater, Brisbane  

Kind Regards,


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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